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July 26, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
It’s been years since I competed in swimming or track. But when I watch those Olympic events on television, familiar feelings come rushing back to me as if I were at a meet again. My breathing quickens, my stomach flip-flops, and my heart thuds against my rib cage. If the camera lingers too long on athletes tensed and waiting at the starting block, I start feeling a little sick.
It sounds unpleasant, but I love it. If adrenaline courses through my veins just from watching the races, I can only imagine what the Olympians are experiencing. I’m amazed they can perform, given that their competition is the best athletes alive and their audience is the whole world.
In honor of the 2012 London Games, which officially start tomorrow, we’ve put together an issue devoted to Olympics and Olympians. If you’re looking for a local angle, start with our feature to learn about mid-Missouri competitors from the past, present and future. For a more tongue-in-cheek look at the events, “Sidelined summer games” sheds light on eliminated Olympic sports such as club swinging and solo synchronized swimming.
We also have stories for those more interested in the Olympics environment than the athletics. “Live in London” gives you the scoop on The Who, Spice Girls and other musical acts lined up for the opening and closing ceremonies. Get ideas for hosting an Olympic-themed bash from “Throw a party like an Olympian."
Finally, to learn how our local athletes fare this year and to read about the atmosphere in London from the perspective of someone living there, visit the VoxTalk blog.